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Volume 4, Number 20 New Column Every Wednesday
COLUMNS & FEATURES
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Semi-Monthly Racing Commentary with
LEW BOYD MAY
17 SCOTTY AND THE SUPER MOON
By Dave Dykes CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL SIZE
Wednesday! That means the work-week is on the run, and it’s time to
offer-up another varied selection of photographic treasures racing-style.
Special thanks to our good friend & Webmaster Tom Ormsby for donating the
majority of this week’s images for all of us to enjoy. As-always, have a
great rest-of-the-week! Email reaches me at
NOTE: We have now put a comment box at the end of
the web site. Please feel free to leave your comments.
Wednesday Means More Modified Memories….
This shot captures Bobby Rich at Connecticut’s former West
Haven Speedway. Rich was one a top-competitor at the track fondly
recalled by locals as “The Rock” (a nod to the adjacent Savin
Rock amusement park). It was an oddly-shaped 1/5-mile oval set within
the confines of a baseball stadium and one of a number of raceways
sanctioned by the once-powerful United Stock Car Racing Club led by
the Tattersall family. Like so many other New England speedways that
flourished during the years following World War II, West Haven
succumbed to rising property values and the urban renewal movement of
the 1960s. (Photo Courtesy Tom Ormsby).
Here’s a neat 70s-era color shot of Plainville
Stadium competitor, Bob Vivari. A big-winner
at the The Stadium’ for many seasons, he was
one of the first at the late Connecticut ¼-miler to
successfully campaign a Modified sporting “late
model” sheet-metal. Previous to the Pinto pictured
here, Vivari’s mount sported a Chevy II body, rather
unique in a field that overwhelmingly consisted of
the more traditional Coupes n’ Coaches of the day.
(Photo Courtesy Tom Ormsby).
Here’s a nice one from the former (and much-missed),
Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Massachusetts.
Before NASCAR developed a relationship with New
England short track racing, Harvey Tattersall’s
United Stock Car Club circuit was THE place
to be if you wanted to run with the best in region.
The Park’ was considered their premier speed palace.
Captured here in the 1960s, Charlie Brayton
scored a career-total of 6 feature triumphs at
Riverside, the first on August 18, 1962, his final
on May 22, 1966. (Photo Courtesy Tom Ormsby).
The gentleman you see behind the controls of this
positively-classic coupe is “Big Ed” Patnode, and
his accomplishments in the sport loom as large as his
legendary stature. At Riverside Park he was truly one of
United’s brightest stars, recording twenty-seven feature
victories and a pair of championships at the late
Massachusetts oval, which was the flagship venue of the
powerful Tattersall/United promotional dynasty.
(Photo Courtesy Tom Ormsby).
Here’s another image from the formative years of
Connecticut’s former Plainville Stadium. George Clark
was one of the best at Joe Tinty’s racy little ¼-miler
during the much-heralded “Coupe Era.” We’re not-sure of
how-many features George scored, as Plainville records are
sketchy at-best. However, a scan of our collection of early
copies of Illustrated Speedway News indicates that he was
quite the racer during his era. In later years, George
became a NASCAR official. (Photo Courtesy Tom Ormsby).
Captured here following a feature win at Plainville
Stadium during the 1953 campaign when he was the
chauffer of the Gaudiani #99 cut-down, popular Joe
Paleski was also a main event winner on the United
circuit at Riverside Park where he scored a total of 4
features between 1954-1959. (Photo Courtesy Tom
One of the real pioneers of the New England Modified
scene, Buddy Krebs was simply among the greatest
racers to ever strap-in behind the wheel, especially at
Massachusetts’ late Riverside Park Speedway as captured
here. Inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of
Fame in 2000, Krebs started racing in 1947, and before
it was over, won an estimated two-hundred features while
competing in Modifieds, Sportsman, and Grand Nationals.
Among his accomplishments were six Riverside 500
victories – a record never broken. Known primarily for
his feats during the Tattersall/United era, he won at
virtually all the tracks that once dotted
the New England landscape including the late Plainville
and Candlelight Stadiums in Connecticut, and Millers
Falls and Westboro Speedways in Massachusetts. A
founding member of the New England Antique Racers, Buddy
passed-away in January of 2006 at 74. (Photo Courtesy
Plainville Stadium could be a tough-joint, and
skirmishes were frequent on the flat little Connecticut
¼-miler. This classic early-1970s image at “Tinty’s
Place” captures the #22 of Nick Nickerson,
“Lil' Dan” Gaudioso in the potent Sharkey #4 coupe,
and Bill Brown in his #100 coach mixing-it-up
“Stadium-Style.” (Photo Courtesy Tom Ormsby).
While it was a short oval, Plainville could pack a
wicked-punch for those drivers that got on the bad-side
of her. See here reeling after an impact is Skip
Ziegler in his familiar #126 coach. In the hat & red
jacket on the left is New England Auto Racing Hall of
Fame member the late “Moneybags Moe” Gherzi, who
at the conclusion of his accomplished racing career
became the longtime Racing Director at Plainville. Also
behind Moe in the white driving suit is another of the
greats, Elton Hill. (Phil Hoyt Photo).
remains one of the best to have ever-competed at
Plainville Stadium. Another driver that spent the
formative years of his career competing at West Haven
Speedway where he snared multiple victories, his reign
at Plainville was nothing-less than spectacular. Leaving
the local scene for a brief period in the mid-70’s, he
headed to Riverside Park during what was arguably one of
that track's most-competitive eras becoming an almost
instant feature winner (May 17, 1975 to be-exact). Porto
later returned-home to “Tinty’s Place” picking-up where
he’d left-off as a winner. (Phil Hoyt Photo).
Another Saturday night, another win…..
Most-certainly a star at Plainville Stadium but also
one of the best in New England, period. Ronnie
Wyckoff remains in this scribes opinion, one of
the most overlooked and underrated drivers in New
England Modified racing history. In addition to his
many triumphs close to home at Plainville, he’s a
multi-time co-winner of the Riverside Park
Speedway’s 500-lap contests. Always in-demand with
the top car owners of his era, the teams that the
affable Wyckoff drove-for during his long-career
reads like a “who’s-who” of the sport. As captured
here in the Bill Zenobi owned % during an early
Plainville triumph, he always did it with a smile –
he remains the same today. (Phil Hoyt Photo).